Kids these days tend to be glued to their electronic devices. Given the chance, most children could easily spend a solid two-week school holiday chasing Pokemon, battling for a diamond-ranking in League of Legends, or making Musical.ly videos.
To get them off their devices and a healthy dose of fresh air and sunshine, you might want to encourage them to play outside over the holidays. You could even make it a daily habit, say a ‘green hour’ for each day. Backyard play is very important for developing practical and cognitive skills, but you have to make it interesting and fun.
Here are 7 ways we’ve sourced to give you some ideas:
1. Prepare your backyard for fun
A grassed lawn is all good for playing cricket or kicking a ball around. But a backyard with trees, nooks, crannies and winding pathways makes it a whole lot more interesting. Creating a fun secret garden for kids isn’t that hard. But first you’ll need to get rid of any pests or poisonous plants that may harm them.
Is your yard full of pests? Get rid of ants, roaches, possums, and other household pests to make your home child-friendly by calling Cure-All Pest Control today.
2. Indoor / outdoor flow
Even if you don’t have much in the way of a backyard, you can make your outdoor spaces, such as a verandah or patio, more of a pleasant space so they want to spend time there. Invest in some comfortable outdoor furniture, with cushions, throws to lounge on or to read a book with a soft rug that they can play on.
3. Take indoors toys outside
If they’re resistant to the idea of building a bush hut, then there’s no reason why the toys they play with inside can’t be taken outside on the lawn. You may want to draw the line at tablets and laptops but anything art, figurine and building block related is ideal for encouraging them to play with them in new ways.
4. Spend family time outdoors
Kids tend to do what adults do, so if you spend more time outdoors yourself, they’re likely to take your lead. You could throw a frisbee on the back lawn, plant a veggie garden together, go for an evening stroll or bike ride round the neighbourhood with them and involve them in washing the car or walking the dog.
5. Invite a friend
A play date could be the incentive they need to make an effort to spend time outside. If you have a hut or trampoline or something fun for them to do with a friend, they’re likely to spend hours out there letting off steam.
6. Splish splash
Kids of all ages love playing with water whether it’s a slip n’ slide, a paddling pool, floating things in it or pouring it. For younger kids, you could even add some mud or sand into the equation for making sand castles and mud pies.
7. Think bigger
We’re blessed here in Brisbane with a range of outdoor environments. Extend your kids outdoor play to the beach, a river, nature reserve or farm to show them there’s more fun to be had beyond your own backyard.